If you like to follow the natural health scene, I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of great things about how coconut oil can benefit your health (if not, check out this post). But did you know that you can also use coconut oil for dogs? Check out some of the great things this amazing oil can do for your canine pal.
Promote Good Oral Health
Brushing your dog’s teeth is as important to her health as it is to yours, but have you looked at the ingredients in the average dog toothpaste? I did recently and wondered, “What’s the point of this stuff?” The only ingredient I really recognized was “poultry flavor,” and let’s face it, nobody knows what’s really in that.
So after a little research, I came upon the idea of using coconut oil. It’s naturally antibacterial to get at those nasty doggy germs and I know EXACTLY what’s in it. Plus, my dogs think it’s delicious!
And because of coconut oil’s antibacterial properties and yummy, tropical aroma, it does wonders for dog breath!
Moisturize & Soothe Skin
Coconut oil is an amazing moisturizer. In fact, I sometimes use pure coconut oil on myself when my skin is feeling particularly parched. So why not put coconut oil’s natural healthy fat content to work for your dog, too?
Whether your dog has dry, flaky skin all over, or just rough patches on the elbows, you can lather on some coconut oil for moisture and protection.
Check out this video on giving your dog a luxurious, but easy, full body coconut oil massage. Be sure to gently bathe them before and after the skin treatment. This hypoallergenic shampoo bar from Wondercide is a great option.
And coconut oil is also great for hot spots, rashes and cuts. Its moisturizing and antibacterial properties can help speed recovery by not only soothing skin, but by also protecting it from bacteria.
Pamper Sensitive Paws
Dogs are constantly barefoot, and while nature meant for them to be that way, the pads of their paws aren’t invincible, especially with all of the chemicals and strange surfaces in our world. Walking your dog is good for him and you, but pavement and asphalt aren’t gentle on feet, especially in winter when they’ve been coated with salt.
Soothe rough, cracked paws with coconut oil. Massage it into your pet’s feet after a walk, if they step on a thorn, and often in cold, dry weather.
Nourish their Coat
Just as coconut oil is healthy and moisturizing for skin, it can also promote a healthy shiny coat. Its high, healthy fat content nourishes hair for a soft, silky feel. And as a bonus, it can also help fight bad doggy odor.
Offer Joint Support
If you have a senior dog or a breed like a German Shepherd or Newfoundland that frequently falls victim to bad joints, supplement their diet with some coconut oil. The healthy fat content can help keep joints working smoothly for a more active – and happier and healthier – lifestyle.
Does your dog struggle with digestion issues? Feeding them a little bit of coconut oil could help alleviate some of their problems. The healthy fats allow for better nutrient absorption so your dog’s system functions more efficiently, and they’re healthier overall from making better use of what they eat! Just be sure to start with small amounts and increase the dosage gradually – too much at once could cause loose stool.
Energize your Pet
Full of medium-chain triglycerides, coconut oil provides a source of efficiently metabolized fats that the body can easily use for fuel and energy. This could be especially beneficial for an aging pet or for one who’s gotten into a sluggish, inactive routine. A little energy boost could be just what your dog needs to get back in the yard or on a leash for some much-needed exercise.
Which Coconut Oil is Best?
For the purest, healthiest coconut oil, always try to go for organic. You can purchase a liquid form if you like (like the variety listed in the oral health section of this post), but you often have more options at larger, more economical prices with the standard jars that are solid at room temperature. It’s very versatile, and if you ever do want it as a liquid, a few seconds in the microwave or a little bit of heat from the stove is all it takes to melt it.
For high-quality coconut oil that’s minimally processed for the highest nutritional value, try Dr. Bronner’s Fair Trade Organic Coconut Oil. Users give it a 5-star rating, and one even gives it to her dog!
How do you use coconut oil for your pet? Share your tips and tricks! And be sure to take a look at all the ways coconut oil is good for you with a handy infographic in Coconut Oil: The Hero for your Health.
And for more natural tidbits to keep your pet – and yourself – healthy, subscribe to our blog.